July 08, 2020 Richard Lennox

A Lesson from the Olive Tree

A Lesson from the Olive Tree

Jeremiah 11:16-17

A few of my children have given me the name “Crazy plant lady.” Owning several lemon trees, fig trees, an orange, and even a banana tree, but my most prized plant would be my olive tree. I love that tree dearly, mainly because my husband and I agreed that if I could keep a lemon tree alive for one year, I could endeavor onto my dream tree.

Of course, you can only imagine my heart-wrenching decision to cut the tree down to a stump when we made our 5 hours move to a new state. We were not sure what would happen when I cut the tree whether it would live or die.

One thing I didn’t know about the Olive Tree, was how resilient it was. When cut down the olive tree would bear new shoots and branches growing once again. (The perfect tree for those of us born without a green thumb)

The Bible uses the Olive tree in many illustrations, specifically when speaking of God’s people the nation of Israel. In Jeremiah 11:16a “The Lord called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit:” Yet, the tree would be consumed by fire later in verse 16, “with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.” There was sin in the nation of Israel and the House of Judah for their worship the Baal, (vs. 17)

No one enjoys the view of wildfires taking away many beautiful old tree’s, yet this is the image that is given to us in verse 17. A beautiful Olive Tree has been burned with fire and it’s branches removed. Yet, God does not leave the nation without hope. Jeremiah 33:14-16 the hope is given that from the stump a righteous branch will come “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.” God sent His son to fulfill the promise made to His loved people.

In Romans 11:17 Paul uses the olive tree once again, to show the mercy of God in grafting the Gentiles into this beautiful tree, so that not only the nation of Israel could enjoy such salvation, but the gift was also given to the Gentiles.

As I wrote this today, I looked out onto my deck the sun was shining on the beautiful leaves of my growing olive tree. I am reminded of God’s unending provision and grace shown to His people, and rest in the knowledge that God is a God of promises kept and fulfilled.